Amid worries about funding, the general manager and co-founder of the world famous festival has resigned.Bojan Boskovic, co-founder and general manager of the Exit music festival, resigned on Thursday from his post.
“Owing to the world crisis the budget has been already significantly reduced, so there is no room for further cuts,” Boskovic told Belgrade-based newspapers Blic, alluding to the festival’s ongoing money worries.
Boskovic said he was resigning also after the other owners of Exit refused to agree on a year’s pause for him from organising the festival in order to have more time to redesign it and adapt it to new circumstances.
The resignation comes after the Belgrade-based newspaper Novosti reported that the Serbian Ministry of Culture intends to cut government support for the event.
The Ministry of Culture told Balkan Insight that a final decision has yet to be made on this question.
In 2010, 2011 and 2012 the Ministry granted the festival 10 million dinars [88,800 euro] each year.
From now on, Exit will have to apply in a competition for the financing of cultural projects to the Ministry of Culture – and any decisions on who gets the money will be made by an experts’ committee, the Ministry says.
In October, the Mayor of Novi Sad, Milos Vucevic, member of Serbia’s ruling Progressive Party, said the city would continue to help the festival because of its contribution to tourism in Novi Sad and Vojvodina province.
The biggest music festival in Southeast Europe, Exit has taken place every July since 2000 in the Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad.
Last year it lured around 150,000 visitors, 30,000 of them from abroad. It is estimated that visitors to the festival last year spent over 10 million euro in Novi Sad.
In 2011 Exit obtained 500,000 euro from the city and provincial budgets – but that still covered only 10 per cent of the festival’s budget, Boskovic told Balkan Insight last year.